With the finishing line rapidly approaching in Saturday's Grade II, $196,000 Swaps Stakes, jockey Joel Rosario, aboard Skipshot, began to wonder whether his horse would have to settle for second place behind heavily favored Sidney's Candy in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Sidney's Candy had opened a 1½-length lead with an eighth of a mile to go. But Rosario and Skipshot never gave up. A tiring Sidney's Candy, trying to go wire to wire, couldn't hold on. Skipshot, sent off at odds of 4-1, won by a head in the championship race for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park. Summer Movie was third and Alphie's Bet fourth in the four-horse field.
What a day it was for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. He saddled Tuscan Evening to her sixth consecutive stakes victory earlier in the day in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park. His assistant trainer, Dan Ward, took charge of Skipshot, a son of Skip Away who finished fifth behind Sidney's Candy last April in the Santa Anita Derby.
"He's improving," Ward said.
Rosario's strategy was to make sure Sidney's Candy was pressured from start to finish. Sidney's Candy was making his first start since a 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Skipshot tracked him in second place throughout, making an early move going into the final turn before wearing down Sidney's Candy in the final strides.